Guiding Steps and Questions
Back to How Would You Do It?
Use this guide to help you design your experiment.
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- Select or Create a Question
- Evaluate whether the question can be tested through scientific investigation.
- What constraints must you consider (such as availability of time and space, limitations of equipment, cost, safety issues)?
- Make sure your question can be answered through scientific investigation.
- What do you predict will be the answer to your question and why?
- Design the Experiment
- Identify the variables in the experiment.
- What kinds of data will help you answer your question?
- What data will you use to support your prediction?
- How will you collect, record, and represent your data?
- What materials will you need?
- What steps will you take to carry out the experiment?
- Review the Experimental Design
- Have another team review your experimental design. What questions do they raise about your design and how might you address them?
- Have your teacher review and approve your experiment before proceeding.
- Do the Experiment
- Record the actual steps you take to carry out the experiment.
- Record your data.
- Analyze the Data
- What patterns do you see in the data?
- How do you interpret the data? What evidence supports your interpretation?
- What might be inaccurate about your interpretation?
- How else can you explain the data? List two alternative explanations.
- How can you organize the data to present the strongest explanation for your conclusion?
- Reflect on Your Experiment
- Identify some of the flaws in your experimental design. How would you change your experiment if you were to repeat it?
- What new questions do you have after doing this experiment?
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